David Higgins has undertaken the first major investigation of environmental catastrophe in Romantic writing. The Collaboration with the Wordsworth Trust has produced exciting activities with schools.
British Romantic Writing and Environmental Catastrophe
Dr David Higgins (Associate Professor in English Literature), University of Leeds, has undertaken the first major investigation of environmental catastrophe in Romantic writing. This project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Dr Higgins research makes an innovative contribution not only to literary scholarship on the period, transforming the understanding of Romantic ecologies and their legacy, but also to the cultural history of climate change and the field of disaster studies. For project details: http://romanticcatastrophe.leeds.ac.uk
An important aspect of the project was to engage communities with the importance of weather, climate, and environmental catastrophe to the lives and works of the Romantics; to encourage reflection on the role of weather/climate in shaping our experience of the world; and to provoke discussions of present-day and historical climate change.
A resulting collaboration between Dr Higgins and the Wordsworth Trust has been producing exciting and ambitious activities with schools from Kendal and Leeds and community groups across Cumbria.
Since January, Wordsworth Trust learning and community outreach staff have commissioned writers, poets, artists and photographers, and together have worked with groups and schools to reflect on how climate change is affecting their lives. Some of the resulting work will be displayed at the Wordsworth Museum alongside a jointly curated exhibition with artist Alison Critchlow. Work will also be displayed and read at a discussion by project participants on Saint Swithuns Day as part of a celebration of British weather - we hope it doesnt rain!